Ian Murray (British politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ian Murray
Ian Murray MP Morningside Clock2.JPG
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
In office
11 May 2015 – 26 June 2016
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Margaret Curran
Succeeded by Dave Anderson
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh South
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Nigel Griffiths
Majority 15,514 (32.4%)
Personal details
Born (1976-08-10) 10 August 1976 (age 40)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Hannah Woolfson
Alma mater University of Edinburgh

Ian Murray (born 10 August 1976) is a British Labour Party politician who has represented Edinburgh South as Member of Parliament (MP) since the 2010 general election.[1] He served as an Edinburgh City Councillor for Liberton & Gilmerton Ward from 2003 to 2010,[2] before his Westminster election as an Edinburgh MP. From 2015 to 2017, Murray was the only Labour Party MP representing a Scottish constituency in the House of Commons.

Early life and education[edit]

Murray was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK to a cooper father and shop worker mother in 1976. Brought up in the Wester Hailes area of Edinburgh, he attended Dumbryden Primary School,[3] then Wester Hailes High School. Upon completing his secondary school education, Murray read Social Policy and Law at the University of Edinburgh's Academy of Government. He graduated with an honours degree (BA) aged twenty. While studying at university, he had a part-time job in a local fish & chip shop before setting up and running a pizza delivery service. After graduation, Murray worked for Royal Blind in pensions management, before being head-hunted by an Edinburgh-based internet television station (Worldart.com) during the dot-com boom where he helped to build a new online TV station. Despite his efforts, the company ran out of funding and was made redundant; he then founded his own event management business (100 mph Events Ltd). Murray also organised a student exchange programme in Nepal to fund school buildings and staff.[4] In 2003, Murray stood in the council elections for Liberton winning the seat for Labour at the age of 27; he later represented the larger Liberton & Gilmerton Ward from 2007-2010.

Parliamentary career[edit]

2010–2015 Parliamentary term[edit]

Murray was returned for the seat of Edinburgh South at the 2010 General Election. Murray served on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Select Committee. In 2011, he was appointed to the Shadow Frontbench.[5]

2014 Scottish independence referendum[edit]

In the 2014 Scottish independence referendum Murray campaigned for a 'No' vote. He claims to have encountered hostility from independence activists and reported that his office premises had been plastered with pro-independence "Yes" stickers,[6] which were immediately removed.

2015–2020 Parliamentary term[edit]

Murray was re-elected to his Edinburgh South constituency in the 2015 General Election with an increased share of the vote and an increased majority but following the SNP landslide he became the only Labour MP returned for a Scottish seat. He was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland on 11 May 2015 by Acting Labour Leader Harriet Harman. He was re-appointed to the same role by new Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015.

Shadow cabinet infighting[edit]

Jeremy Corbyn made his first shadow frontbench reshuffle in January 2016 which were triggered by heated policy and personality disagreements. Three Shadow Ministers resigned in protest and were criticised by Corbyn ally John McDonnell as being part of a "narrow right wing clique" aligned with the Blairite Progress group. Murray as a Progress member was interviewed on the Sunday Politics Scotland programme on 10 January 2016 and criticised McDonnell saying he should "ramp down the rhetoric".[7]

Shortly after the Brexit Referendum, on 26 June 2016, he resigned around the same time as dozens of his Labour colleagues from the Shadow Cabinet, citing a lack of confidence in Jeremy Corbyn's leadership ability to win a general election.[8][9] Murray nominated Owen Smith in his leadership challenge against Corbyn.

Following on from Jeremy Corbyn's successful re-election as Labour leader with a larger majority, Ian Murray said he would only return to Corbyn's frontbench if Corbyn reinstated shadow cabinet elections and stopped using the threat of deselection to enforce loyalty.[10]

Murray has accused Corbyn of being "all over the place" on potential Labour cooperation with the SNP.[11] His replacement as Shadow Scottish Secretary Dave Anderson refused to rule out a deal with the SNP at Westminster.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Murray lives with his long-term partner Hannah Catherine Woolfson.[13][14] He supports Edinburgh-based football team Hearts and was previously Chair of the Foundation of Hearts, a bid by a fans' group to buy the club out of administration. He stepped down in May 2015 in order to focus on his parliamentary duties, and was duly replaced by the current Chair Brian Cormack.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Labour succeeds in Edinburgh South recount seat". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "By-election result - City of Edinburgh Council". City of Edinburgh Council. Archived from the original on 28 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Edinburgh,dumbryden Gardens, Dumbryden Primary School - ScotlandsPlaces". www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  4. ^ "Ian Murray". Scottish Labour. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "You Shadow BIS Team". Labour Party. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ian Murray row over pro-independence stickers". 
  7. ^ "Labour's Ian Murray critical of John McDonnell on Progress". BBC News. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Only Scots Labour MP Ian Murray quits shadow cabinet - BBC News". BBC Online. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  9. ^ Syal, Rajeev; Perraudin, Frances; Slawson, Nicola (27 June 2016). "Shadow cabinet resignations: who has gone and who is staying". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "Ian Murray back on Labour frontbench ‘if cabinet poll returns’". www.scotsman.com. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  11. ^ "Murray: Corbyn is 'all over the place' on a Labour coalition with SNP". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "New shadow Scottish Secretary refuses to rule out possible coalition with SNP". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "House of Commons - The Register of Members' Financial Interests - Part 2: Part 2". Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Meet the MP: Ian Murray". BBC News. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Ian Murray steps down as Foundation chairman". 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  16. ^ "Foundation of Hearts Board". Foundation of Hearts. 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Nigel Griffiths
Member of Parliament
for Edinburgh South

Political offices
Preceded by
Margaret Curran
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland
Succeeded by
Dave Anderson